Energy Committee Approves Two Interior Department Nominees

March 27, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. –The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved two nominees to positions at the U.S. Department of the Interior. By a vote of 12-10, the committee voted in favor of Rhea Suh to be Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks. The committee also voted in favor of Janice M. Schneider, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management by a vote of 18-4. Both nominations now move to the full Senate for approval.

“I recognize that Ms. Suh’s nomination has become controversial, and I certainly respect the views of those who oppose her nomination,” said Sen. Landrieu, Chair of the committee. “This position is not charged with overseeing energy production, but with overseeing fish, wildlife and parks. During her confirmation hearings, Ms. Suh repeatedly reiterated her support for natural gas production. Before this committee, she stated unequivocally that she would ‘absolutely support the responsible development of natural gas and other fossil fuels from our public lands,’ and that she ‘will work hard to ensure that decisions that are made, specifically by the Fish and Wildlife Service, are made in such a way that recognize the importance of natural gas to the country’s energy needs.’ I would also note that the woman Ms. Suh would report to, Sec. Jewell, is in fact a petroleum engineer."

Ms. Suh’s nomination is supported by several professionals—many of whom are Republicans—that understand the responsibilities the Fish, Wildlife and Parks job is entrusted with and understand how Louisianians fish, recreate and drill for energy in the same waters all state that Suh is qualified for this position.

  • Dale Hall, George W. Bush’s Fish and Wildlife Service Director, who now leads Ducks Unlimited, says she “has proven herself to be a friend of natural resources and a willing partner with energy extraction and beneficial use,” who has “shown a willingness to engage and support restoration of the Gulf Coast, particularly the significant impacts to Louisiana’s coastline, in the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.”
  • Tom Strickland, a Louisiana State University graduate and the last person the Senate confirmed to the job Ms. Suh has been nominated, says she “is committed to assisting communities in restoring Louisiana’s coastline and economy after the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.” [Letter to the Editor from Tom Strickland, Mar. 25, 2014.]